Bach Choir Performs Christmas Oratorio Parts 1, 2, 3, For First Time In 10Years

Nov 23rd, 2015Press Release from The Bach Choir of Bethlehem

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Christmas Concerts will be presented on Saturday December 12, 8pm at First Presbyterian Church of Allentown and Sunday December 13, 4pm at First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem. Greg Funfgeld conducts The Bach Choir of Bethlehem and Bach Festival Orchestra in J.S. Bach’s CHRISTMAS ORATORIO PARTS 1, 2 & 3. The distinguished soloists are Ellen McAteer soprano, Daniel Taylor, countertenor; Isaiah Bell, tenor, and David Newman, bass-baritone.


The Bach Choir of Bethlehem gave the American premiere of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in 1901 and recorded the work on the Dorian label in 1999 but has not performed Parts 1, 2 & 3 of this glorious work for more than ten years. The transcendent beauties of the first three parts of the Christmas Oratorio include the pastoral sinfonia as we follow the shepherds to Bethlehem, choruses of angels bringing the message of peace, an enchanting lullaby sung to the baby Jesus, and Mary pondering all these things in her heart.


As part of beloved tradition, Greg Funfgeld will invite the audience to join The Choir in singing several well-known carols at the conclusion of the program.


Saturday, December 12 at 8pm                               First Presbyterian Church of Allentown

Cedar Crest Blvd. and Tilghman St., Allentown PA


Sunday, December 13 at 4pm                                  First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem

2344 Center St., Bethlehem PA


Tickets are $37 General Admission, $9 for students up to age 22. A 10% discount is available for groups of 10 or more. Call The Bach Choir office at 610-866-4382 Ext. 15 or Ext. 10 or buy tickets and recordings on-line at


The Bach Choir of Bethlehem: The oldest American Bach Choir, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem gave the first complete American performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor in 1900 and Christmas Oratorio in 1901. Since its founding in 1898, The Choir has been attracting thousands of visitors from across the United States and beyond to the annual Bethlehem Bach Festival in Pennsylvania. Since 1983, under Greg Funfgeld’s direction, the 100 dedicated volunteer singers of The Bach Choir, performing with the Bach Festival Orchestra and distinguished soloists, have received international acclaim. Performances include the Thomaskirche in Leipzig; the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall; Carnegie Hall, Saint Paul’s Chapel and Trinity Church Wall St. in New York City; the Kennedy Center and the Music Center at Strathmore in the Washington D.C. area; and Severance Hall, Cleveland. Funfgeld has expanded the programs of The Bach Choir beyond the annual Bach Festivals to become a year-round season of 31 concerts and educational programs with an audience of more than 20,000. Educational programs include Bach to School, Bach at Noon, and the annual Family Concert. The Bach Choir has released five recordings of music by Bach on the Dorian label, four volumes of the popular Christmas in Bethlehem, and most recently four recordings on the Analekta label including A Child’s Christmas in Bethlehem (2013).

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